FHM: Tell us about your success story.
HS: To be honest, it wasn’t very easy. I’ve had my share of hardships and struggles, but it was worth it. In the beginning, I used to work for free, but then I lost my job, after which I was very disheartened and felt hopeless. I guess everything happens for a reason. Today, the same company approaches me for photography assignments. I believe that a person creates his own opportunities. All you need is right guidance, strong will, and commitment. And as far as being successful, well it’s just the beginning.
FHM: How did you develop an interest in photography?
HS: I did fairly well in studies, but I was great at arts. I loved drawing, painting and sketching. Then, I went on to become a fine arts student. I always felt that through images, you can tell a story which words can’t describe. I graduated from KSA, majoring in Communication Designing and Photography. That’s how the passion for photography grew within me.
FHM: Who is your mentor and where do you get your inspiration?
HS: I had no mentor, no godfather, and no support when I entered this field. Whatever I am is because of my hard work. And there’s no selfishness or pride in claiming that. However, there are many people who keep inspiring me with their amazing work.
FHM: What do you think of the photography industry?
HS: The Pakistani photography industry is growing over leaps and bounds. Moreover, no other industry can survive without photography today. The market is growing like never before. There are greater opportunities today than ever. At least Pakistani photographers are representing the country in a positive light.
FHM: How long have you been working in the photography arena?
HS: Fortunately, it’s been 6 years by the grace of God.
FHM: What were the challenges that you commonly face and do you deal with them?
HS: Making your own mark in the industry is a little difficult. But if you have what it takes to survive this cutthroat competition, nothing can defeat you. I’ve seen people leave as quickly as they came. It’s your talent, hard work, and passion that protect you against all odds and challenges of this industry.
FHM: What do you enjoy the most about photography?
HS: It’s the process. The creative collaboration of the stylist, makeup artist, model, and photographer and his/her creative team is something that you won’t find anywhere else. From idea generation to execution, the overall experience is exhilarating.
FHM: What is your biggest strength and weakness?
HS: Well, that’s something that mustn’t be revealed. *winks*
FHM: How do you make a picture stand out?
HS: You really think I’d give that away? Lol! The magic resides in the eyes, not the equipment.
FHM: What does photography mean to people, and what does it mean to you?
HS: I don’t know about people, but to me, it means it’s the only language that has no barriers. It’s a save button for my mind. It’s my passion; it’s what gets me going. It makes me fearless, more confident, and complete.
FHM: What advice will you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in photography?
HS: My advice for all the newbies is to enter this industry only if you’re passionate about photography. It’s unfortunate that most people enter this field believing that it’s easy money. If you lack talent, dedication and creativity, your survival is impossible. But if you have what it takes, there’s no stopping you.
FHM: Everyone calls themselves a photographer. How would you differentiate this new trend in Pakistan?
HS: Every other person I see has a DSLR in his/her hands. It’s good as long as it’s limited to casual picture-clicking and all. Professional photography is a different thing altogether. Holding a camera and clicking random photos doesn’t make you a professional photographer, it requires education, skills, passion and a lot more.
FHM: Favourite actor/actress
HS: Leonardo Dicaprio and Salma Hayek
FHM: Favourite model
HS: Monica Bellucci
FHM: Favourite perfume
HS: Yves Saint Laurent
FHM: Favourite photographer
HS: Steven Klein
FHM: Favourite place
FHM: Favourite designer